How does that DNCE and Nicki Minaj song go again? Kissing strangers/’Til I find someone I love/Kissing strangers/’Til I find someone I trust. The song kept replaying in my head as I drove home despite the music I played on my speaker. I couldn’t find the song in my music to save my life, and figured it meant that I wasn’t supposed to listen to it at that moment. The universe is always sending me signals like that I guess. As I listen to it now, I let myself go and let the music roll over me, trying to remember why it was stuck in my head to begin with.
My phone lit up as I received four text messages in a row, all from the same person. I held the royal blue dress in my hands as I walked out of the store and to my car. The anxiety started in my stomach as I turned the keys in the ignition and continued building as I drove home, until it had reached my eyes right as I turned into the driveway. I could visually see blurs in my field of vision, making it hard to see my phone. I couldn’t go out with this person if the anxiety is making me literally blind. Yelling could be heard through the front door. They’re fighting again. I closed my eyes tight enough to make the blurs stop for a moment and texted Jehosh. I couldn’t do any of this tonight. I needed to run from my problems, if only for one night.
I gripped the steering wheel tighter as I neared the intersection of the familiar Kroger and WalMart. Although familiar, everything was much different from what I remembered. The light turned red, and I was able to look around for a moment, taking in the new businesses that had sprung up in this part of town. I bit my lip softly, considering it, before realizing my phone was ringing. He asked where I was and I told him I had to pee so I was going into the Kroger. He said he’d be there in a bit, depending on his driving. I nodded as if he could see me and said okay. The whole thing was nostalgic and a new experience all at once. I had never driven around this part of town before, despite having lived there most of my life. Even Jehosh was nostalgic but new to me, with old memories from high school popping up, but new experiences being had together. I don’t know how we ended up in this weird place together, both stuck in a rut that we needed help out of. I don’t know how much we really could help each other, but I do know that when we talked and were ridiculous together, it helped.
Soap by Melanie Martinez played in my head as I made a stupid joke about making out. I’m not sure whether he even still likes me like that. I didn’t even think about it, I just said it. Filters seem to go down when we are together, I think I’m just comfortable talking about even the hard things with him. His reaction to the joke was hard to read but we seemed to shrug it off. We drove some more and I ended up in the car by myself at one point, waiting for him. I played temple run and sang along to some music that I kept playing as he got back in the car. I continued to sing along to my favorite music as we drove back to his car, realizing that it was late. The joke seemed to be mostly forgotten now, I think.
But he paused getting out of the car. Maybe he did want a kiss. Or maybe he thought I wanted a kiss. Or. There’s so much going through my head but we did kiss. And he kept kissing me for a little bit longer before I told him goodbye. Why did our kiss goodbye have to be so long? Why did I text him immediately after he drove away? Why did I want to kiss him more? Aren’t I the one who said I didn’t want to be in a relationship? Didn’t he say something similar a couple of times himself? Why am I like this? Why am I still thinking about kissing him? Why did we break up in high school? I don’t remember kisses like this at all in high school. I remember the awkward kisses. I don’t remember kisses that made my mind go quiet while I focused on the feeling of his lips pressed to mine and his breathing and rapid heartrate. My heart was pounding. My heart is still pounding. My lips were chapped. I think his were too. I didn’t feel a difference. The last person I kissed was Dino the other day. And it wasn’t anxiety melting. It was anxiety provoking. I regretted it as soon as it happened. I don’t regret kissing Jehosh. I wonder what makes it so different. Time maybe. Or feelings. Or comfort. Or.
I guess I’ll go back to listening to Kissing Strangers and think about what made it different this time.